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Longtime Goshen Schools nurse appointed to Elkhart County Board of Health

Elkhart County Health Department
Elkhart County Health Department

There will be yet another new face on the Elkhart County Board of Health next year.

On Monday, the county commissioners approved the appointment of Susan Stiffney to replace current board chair Josi DeHaven, whose term ends December 31.

Stiffney is a registered nurse and previously served as health services coordinator for Goshen Community Schools. The school board honored Stiffney last year by declaring March 26 “Susan Stiffney Day,” to recognize her contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The commissioners approved the appointments of oncologist Dr. Houman Vaghefi and Goshen Fire Chief Dan Sink to the board of health in late 2021 and the appointment of Paul Shetler Fast in January.

That’s after four of the board’s seven members stepped down last year following a controversial county council decision to deny the health department’s application for a grant to hire community health workers.

“I actually got to speak to [Stiffney] and ask her, ‘Why do you want to do this?’ Commissioner Suzie Weirick said Monday, prompting laughter from the room. “But she did say that she’s retired and she’s very willing to give back in areas that she’s passionate about. I think it’ll be a great addition.”

The board of health still has one vacancy left to fill. County health administrator Melanie Sizemore told the commissioners that discussions are underway with a potential candidate for that position.

Contact Gemma at or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo.

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Gemma DiCarlo came to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.